Sweden steps up to alleviate Ethiopian food crisis

24 Nov 15

Sweden’s much-needed contribution to the World Food Programme has enabled food distribution to more than 1.5 million people vulnerable to the drought-driven food crisis in Ethiopia.

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Ethiopian girls

Ethiopian girls Credit: Shutterstock

 

The WFP feared it would have to suspend food distributions entirely at the end of November. The scale of the crisis in the country has rapidly grown over the year, leaving 8.2 million people in need of food and the WFP with a serious funding gap.

However, thanks to contributions from key donors, including Sweden, the WFP is now able to continue its operations until the end of the year. It has announced that the donation from Sweden alone will enable help more than 1.5 million people in the Somali region of Ethiopia this month.

John Aylieff, WFP representative and country director in Ethiopia, said: “Sweden is among the very first to step forward in this current crisis.

“Families across the Somali region, whose lives have been turned upside down by what is said to be one of the worst El Niño events in recorded history, will feed themselves and their children for the next month thanks to the generosity of Sweden.”

The Somali region was among the first to be hit by the crisis. Its people will now receive cereals, pulses and vegetable oil will be distributed, helping to stabilise nutrition rates.

Anneka Knutsson, head of development cooperation and deputy head of the Embassy of Sweden, said: “We know how important it is to act quickly and early to save lives in these types of crisis. Paying early will mean saving later.”

While contributions from Sweden and other donors will keep the WFP afloat until the end of the year, the programme still has only 7% of the budget it needs to continue assistance until June 2016. 

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